In the city of London here comes a young vibrant lady full of life and enthusiasm always ready to go above her abilities to deliver the best. An inspirational role model for young black girls in the community Sporah is at the heart of her career as a TV presenter/producer A hardworking lady who believes in education more than anything else. Talking to Sporah is a passion as she has a lot to say about herself, her career and definitely to the young women out there...

SPARKLES: Hi Sporah I will say you such a great inspiration for young girls, tell us what motivated you to that level?
Sporah: Coming to Europe from 3rd World countries, with my African back ground and seeing young women at young age with no parental guidance and allowing the societal norms to influence them against their cultures and values. Made me realise that so many young women from Black Ethnic minority grew up with low self esteems.
This and other things made me think of doing something that can bring change and i thought this change can only be achieved through media.

SPARKLES: Do you have a role model and who is it?
 Sporah: Yes i do.  My Mum (Mama Njau).

SPARKLES: What about your passion for TV how did it start?
Sporah: After watching different TV talk shows, I realised how powerful TV is, and how it can influence or change people’s life especially the young generation. So I thought yeah... something is missing in my society and somebody has to do it..
So, I came with an Idea of a Talk Show. Thank God we are pioneer of African Talk Show in Europe

SPARKLES: You are so natural and flamboyant where did you learn that?
Sporah: I took time to read and understand myself what’s the best for me more than following fashion trends, and I came out with the best results which makes me what I am today.

SPARKLES: And your name SPORAH did you make it up or is it your actual name?
Sporah: Ah ah ah ah of course Sporah is my name. In English is Zipporah and in my language which is Swahili is Sipora.

SPARKLES: What does it mean and where is it from?
Sporah: Sporah is a Christian name coming from the Bible from Old Testament on Exodus 2: 21: “Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage”.
More story about Sporah on Exodus 4: 25: for those who are intresting to know more about my name Sporah, Sipora, (Zipporah) ...

SPARKLES: (Because some people actually think that you tried to make your name sound like OPRAH)
 Sporah: No way...Anyone who has been close to me from Africa like a good friend knows that SPORAH is my REAL PASSPORT NAME, and it has been since young age.

SPARKLES: Would you say that she is one of your role models or inspiration?
Sporah: Yes, she is one of my inspiration.

SPARKLES: For a young woman you get a lot of attention for being such in a public eye. Is it a benefit or a disadvantage?
Sporah:  It is a benefit, because it gives me a voice.

SPARKLES: What is the most important for you now as a young woman?
Sporah: Education and Working hard towards my career. 

 SPARKLES: What is your preferred type of man?
Sporah: Well the answer to this question can be easy and hard at the same time… as there are some very essential qualities which almost every woman demands in a man.
Because I  believe it’s not easy to find a man with all the packages that i need otherwise....So I’ll give you my top 6 on the list, then the rest I can deal with it.

1. The most important to me is a sense of humour - This is the most common yet most essential demand that I want a man to have. I like to stay around a man who knows how to make me laugh and keep me amused. I believe no female likes very intense or boring males. 

2. Purpose in life - To be honest, I like men who know what they want in life and have a strong path which they are following. We women always look for a man who has a vision and a strong desire to get somewhere in life. 

3. Honesty and decency - I like straight forward Men, I believe women don't like being cheated on or lied to any more... So if you're a chew 'em up and spit 'em out type man, your life will be a string of one-night stands followed by a bitter spinsterhood. So.. Its time for a change same as women lets us be honesty and decency so will have a happy and health relationship. 

4.  Mmh!.. A gentleman of cause!!! I mean this is for all of us.
Let me give a tip to my brothers out there…Women want a man who knows how to treat a lady well. I believe Women would not respect a man unless you know how to respect them. Therefore women prefer men who know how to pull chairs and open doors for them when needed. Yes I like that. 

5.  The next will be…. I like a man who knows how to carry himself well. 

6. Last but very essential is.. Romantic - This is one ingredient all women desperately want in their men… I believe romance is the foundation of any and every relationship therefore women always demand a man who knows the true art of romance.

SPARKLES: Would you put your career on hold for a relationship? (like getting married and building family)
Sporah: In a relationship where you have two people that want to move ahead and get more out of life….this should be very tricky...
I mean.. I would like to spend more time with my family and give my loved ones the best but at the same time, I would like to achieve my crucial career goals…
I think i can’t say much into this…Am just praying to God to have a life in which I could fulfill both my personal life as well professional ambitions with ease.

SPARKLES: What do you love apart from TV and interviewing?
Sporah: I love Acting, Cooking (I Love Food) and Dancing. 

SPARKLES: What is your  message to young girls?
Sporah: Believing in themselves and not allow to be influence

SPARKLES: What is your plan now after your education?
Sporah: Working harder

SPARKLES: Any message for the end?
Sporah: We should always remember that... Prevention is better than cure and too much of anything is harmful...

SPARKLES: Thanks Sporah and see you next time
Sporah: Thanks for having me.. And don’t forget to watch The Sporah Show Every Monday at 9:30pm on SKY 184 (BEN TV) And Fridays 18:pm and Saturday’s 13:pm on STAR TV in Tanzania. More about The Sporah Show Log on to our website or
You can also check out our Blogspot at Or Join us on Facebook/Twitter. And finally Check out our Video’s on Youtube.


You watched her on your T.V. screens in Tanzania and then you watched her all over Africa on Big Brother Amplified 2011.  She's had a controversial time since her exit but we were not satisfied with the word on the street... we wanted to hear it straight from Bhoke's own heart. Get to know Bhoke Egina all over again in her Exclusive interview with iMagazine.

iMag: Who is Bhoke Egina?  Tell us about yourself? 
BE: Bhoke Egina is a very humble girl, down to earth, gets along with lots of people... I was born in Dar es Salaam I have two sisters and one brother and I'm the last born. I studied at Mlimani Primary School then Makongo High School, Tambaza High school and I did my Law degree at Tumaini University. 

iMag: What motivated you to apply for Big Brother Amplified (BBA)? 
BE: The last two years I went through a traumatic experience. I was pregnant and very sick and I had a premature baby and she passed away when she was three months actually its only been a year since she passed, I needed a change and I wanted to experience something different...  

iMag: Wow, that is tough for any woman to hear let alone for a woman to go through. I can understand why you needed a change! How did you find out you had been selected? 
BE: They sent me an email and called me after I had gone through dozens of interviews, I was so happy to be selected.

iMag: So, when you were on the plane ready to go to be part of the show, what were you thinking? What was on your mind?
BE: There were so many things on my mind at the time like how will the experience be, what kind of people will I meet, how will my friends take it because most of them didn't know I was going to be on the show. I was very  excited to be chosen!

iMag: Once you got into the Big Brother house could you be yourself? Did you find yourself acting or were we seeing the real Bhoke? 
BE: I tried to be myself as much as I could, it is a different environment  so you have to adjust to some things and be flexible but acting NOOO, you can try to the first couple of days but sooner or later the real you will come out!

iMag: What about your housemates? Were they all genuine? Who was your favourite and who did you like the least? 
BE: I think everyone was genuine atleast that's what I felt when I was in there, you can tell when a person is fake  and like I said in that house its not easy to be fake and pretend. I was very close to Kim from Zambia, Nick  from Kenya, Alex from Ghana, Ernest from Uganda and of course Confident...there were people that I was not close with for instance Karen, though we were in the process of getting to know one another. 
photo credit: Official BBA

iMag: You were surprised that Alex nominated you for eviction, he was one of your boys, why do you think he did that? 
BE: Yes I was, I cannot say why he did it only he has the reasons why, but it is a game and I understand!

photo credit: Official BBA

iMag: Going in, did expect to find Mr Right in there or make any lasting friendships?  
BE: Mr Right  Noooo...friendships Yes definitely!!!

iMag: Of course the questions that are on many people's lips concern a particular guy from Uganda..... when did you first see there was an attraction with Ernest? 

BE: The first time I met him was in Johannesburg I was there for the Big Brother interview and so was he but we did not tell eachother that.  We went out and had a great time when we returned to our countries we kept in touch still, we would call  and text  eachother all the time. 

iMag: There are some things that we don't see especially us outside of Africa watching via Youtube and blogs, what was so special about Ernest that made the relationship move so fast? 
BE: Our relationship did not move fast, like I said me and him met way before and just clicked and being in the same house just made us even closer. 

iMag: Some of your housemates commented that you guys never showed interest to other people in the house... would you say that was a fair thing to say? 
BE: We mingled with other people just as much so I don't think that was a fair thing to say.

iMag: I watched a Youtube clip of you and Ernest talking I think the next day after something had happened. I felt from listening to you talking that you regretted what had happened. Did you? Was it a case of waking up after a drinking too much and thinking... nooo what happened last night??  
BE: I had a lot to drink the previous night I can't deny that and I needed to understand what had happened... only me and Ernest know the truth of the matter regardless of what the clips might show or anyone might say nevertheless everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that. 

iMag: It happens to so many people but I guess unfortunately for you it was on live t.v. I've heard that on Big Brother you somehow forget that there are cameras and just live life as normal.... is that what happened? 
BE: Big Brother is not a series that you say "action" and people begin to act, it's your everyday life it's more like we bring the cameras to your house so after a while you forget the cameras and just live as you would in your own house.

iMag: Listening to Ernest in that youtube clip one could feel that he was playing up for the cameras, that it didnt bother him as much. What do you think? 
BE: I cannot speak for him,  at that particular moment he told me something that I would remember for the rest of my life he said "This is your personal journey and nobody else's" He also reminded me of why I was there in the first place. 

iMag: Do you think he was being genuine? 
BE: I know he was genuine, we did not plan to meet in the Big Brother house maybe for me and him that's how we were supposed to meet, ...I'm just a girl with feelings and emotions just like everybody else.

iMag: How was it when you saw your family again after all of that. I guess it was their opinion that mattered most?  Have they been cool? 
BE: My family is my backbone especially my mother, they know me and we don't talk about things that don't matter. 

iMag: And how is your relationship with your family now? 
BE: Just like it was from the beginning nothing has changed not even one bit! 

iMag: People can only judge you based on what they see. Is there anything you'd like to say about Bhoke to give the full picture, the parts of Bhoke people did not see on Big Brother? 
BE: People will always judge no matter what you say, I can write a whole speech about me and they would still judge, it's funny how people can write or say stuff about you that you don't even know for instance I have fan pages and I'm not in control of whatever is written on those pages. It is not me writing and people don't know that the only page I'm in control of is my personal Facebook account.  No matter how much I think this is my business and nobody else I still don't believe that provoking people is a way to go.  Anyways the people close to me know me and they've been very supportive I'm glad for that and that's what matters the most.

iMag: Another thing I guess is the culture. Here in the UK celebrities make money from their naughty antics on Big Brother.  In Africa it's more conservative. What do you plan to do to erase those antics from people's minds when they think of Bhoke? 
BE: I think when you meet me you'll see that I'm totally the opposite of what people think I am. You can't change people's minds if they don't want to, it's their prerogative to think whichever way they want about anything.... this experience has taught me a lot.  I know who are my real friends and who are not ....I'm not going to let that phase me and make me lose my focus I think that would be a crime to myself. 

iMag: Have you been in touch with Ernest since coming out of the house?  Any plan to go to Uganda? 
BE: Yes we are in touch, he's very supportive and very worried about me and about everything that's going on. I would like to get to know him better and see how it goes he's a great person and a good friend...And I can't wait to go to Uganda.

iMag: Other than the 'incident' was there anything in the house, for you, that you worried about your family and friends maybe seeing? 
BE: Nothing whatsover I don't believe in living in fear I'm a free spirit. Whatever happens people move on with their lives so why shouldn't I move on with mine?

iMag: What do you have planned for the future? Will you continue with your show?  
BE: Of course I will continue with the show, they haven't seen the last of me yet! I wasn't us to take 5Connect to another level and I think we have the means to do it. 

iMag: Who do you think deserves to win BBA 2011? 
BE: I think Nick, Alex or Confidence  

iMag: For all the good and bad - was your time on Big Brother a positive experience? Would you do it again if offered a spot on the next BBA All-Stars? 
BE: It was a good experience for me afterall I had my personal reasons to go in there and I think I fullfilled what I wanted as an individual the rest as they say is history! If given a chance I will grab it for sure!

iMag: Thank you for talking to us Bhoke and we wish you all the best and hope to have you live on the Sporah Show in the future.

interview by Jacqueline Kibacha for iMagazine / The Sporah Show


                                         Frank Eyembe and Baraka Nyama.

Who are Urban Pulse? To some it's a well known brand here in the UK, to others you might know them better by the buzz around their movie Lovely Gamble. Now get to know the brains behind this company with high aspirations and fingers in many media pies... Join iMagazine as we dig a little deeper... 

iMag: So What is Urban Pulse?
UP: Urban Pulse consists of young creative people who are highly dedicated to bringing to the world all forms of new an exciting entertainment, information and inspiration through different media outlets.

iMag: When and how did Urban Pulse start and why the name ''Urban Pulse'' is it related to the industry you're in or is it to attract a particular audience?
UP: Basically the concept is about there being something new in town or to the world if you like. Our aim is to target all kind of audiences from young, old, male, female, black, white, gay, straight and the list goes on by providing different genres of programme. We aim to entertain, educate, inform and motivate.

iMag: That sounds exciting, and how is Urban Pulse fulfilling these aims?
UP: We have a music artist who is of UK Origin, a female MC [Fyah Sista] representing to the fullest. Her music is pure fire and talks about the real life experience of being black.

We also produced a programme for sustainable energy from Ashden Awards which is run by Sainsbury and the Patron being the Prince of Wales. The programme is about promoting entrepreneurs across the globe to use alternative source of energy like Solar panel, water and use of bio gas mainly to the third world countries and to promote less use of CO2.

We are also currently in the last stages of producing a documentary for The Tanzania Embassy which is education programme which starts from its history in conjunction with this year 50th year independence anniversary.

This programme will be aired on national TV and all over the internet and will be used in Tanzania schools as well. These are just few projects; We could be here all day. For more of what we do please check out our YouTube channel we have around 60 different videos

iMag: Who are the founders?
UP: Frank Eyembe and Baraka Baraka

                                      Frank and Baraka on Point.

iMag: Tell us about your backgrounds briefly. Has it influenced the start of Urban Pulse and your passion for Media?
UP: My dad is a media man so I grew up watching him doing his thing and somehow got myself in it. I also did a diploma for media studies even though I dropped out few month to go,(Frank).
Baraka holds a degree in Photography and Film Production and he has got load experience and passion in this industry.

iMag: What role does Mr Eyembe and what role does Mr Baraka play in Urban Pulse?Mr Eyembe is the CEO and Mr Nyama is the Managing Director.

iMag: Have there been any challenges/still are; in running Urban Pulse?
UP: Challenges will always be there, no matter how much you try, they are there to help Us get focused. Our job is to rise above them, learn from them and move on.

iMag: Is Urban Pulse a self-invested business or can we start buying shares?lol
UP: Well, at the moment we are expanding rapidly and hopefully we will be selling shares but don't worry you will be the 1st to know. Will give you a good deal.

iMag: You 'not too long ago' added a third member to the Urban Pulse family,Mr Nocha Sebe, what led to this decision and what role did he take on?
UP: Both myself and Baraka are more like driving force in terms of production and technical execution. We needed another person with the business mind to take UP to the next level. We went through couple of list of people who we thought will be good for the job but unfortunately not all of them ticked all the boxes. While we were in the dilemma Nocha came to light, we had a long chat with him about the job and we both felt that he was the right person for the job and rest is now history. He is our Operation Manager and now he is officially in Tanzania in talks with other big companies about different deals.

Baraka Nyama on the left, Tanzania's Foreign Affairs Minister and International Co-operation Mr Bernard Membe in the middle and Nocha, at the Tanzania Diaspora 111.

iMag Any particular major projects you have done this year?
UP: Like a mentioned earlier we got a Documentary which will be coming out soon for the Tanzania embassy. Also we had released Miss The fyah sis (our artist) her 1st mix tape and album will be coming out soon. We produced DIASPORA III, we produced fashion show for Vodka and fashion TV UK and for the first Time we got a special interview with our prime Minister 1hr and 30 mins long which will be aired in our national TV soon.

Frank Eyembe and Baraka Nyama Interviewing Tanzania's Foreign Affairs Minister and International Co-operation Mr Bernard Membe at the Tanzania Diaspora 111.

iMag: With the music creative side of Urban Pulse, whose the 'main man' operating that side?
UP: At the moment we got Salim JSP who does all the production without forgetting Tim AKA Furious T

iMag: I am proud of how Urban Pulse inspires younger people to use art to express themselves, especially in music; how's that going? Is the inspiration towards both ways still strong or has it been a challenge working with so many expressive young minds?
UP:Most Def young people have got minds of their own and sometimes they let their adrenalin rush over powering their mind and end up making wrong decision based on their feeling and not from the fact. Apart from that, it’s all fun and doesn't feel like work coz it’s about the passion.

iMag: What music genre do Urban Pulse's artists create?
UP: Rnb, hip hop, contemporary music etc basically we do anything it depends on the artist wants and the Producer

iMag: Has any of your artists released their music yet?
UP: Yes, Josh or 'Young Josh',

iMag: Such a massive talent from such a young man, and has been known to also be the creative mind in producing Urban Pulse music, how is that going? Any new music out from our genius young man?
UP:Absolutely he is the one of the best young producer out there and helped to create UP,however now is doing full time studies so he is quite busy at the moment

iMag: Lovely Gamble! Tell Us more about the film. From the idea,script to the final project. Was it a success? what challenges did you face? any regrets? what have you taken/learnt from this project as your first film project?
UP: Well, Lovely gamble was an experimental film based on love, music, sex and deception. We wanted to try something new so we decided to invited kanumba down which he did and we made the movie. Because it was first ever film we faced lots of problems one of being; reliability and commitment from other people who agreed to be part of it and at the end due to some avoided circumstances half of them dropped out at the last minute which put lot of pressure on us. But at the end we decided to go ahead with what we had at the time and made the film. Other way minor stuff which we managed to maneuver some how

What we have learnt is that when you take on a certain project it’s better to be careful who to choose and always go with a small and effective team which will be a result. Also nothing is possible under the sun if you put your mind and effort to it, and even if it fails at least you had balls to do it.

If it wasn't for Lovely Gamble UP wouldn't be here today. Lovely Gamble has introduced a lot of new talents like Lynn Kapinga and Kisiri Elly;

iMag: How was it working with new talents and Steven Kanumba (Tanzanian Actor/Producer)?
UP: it was such a honor working with all of them it was more like a huge family reunion and we all enjoyed each other company and share experience across the ball. Everyone was nice to each other and remained commitment until the end. I Miss that moment and I will do it again given the opportunity.

iMag: Urban Pulse is also known for giving back to the community. Tell us more about the charities you have been involved with?
UP: We did raised some money to help build an orphanage play ground in Tanzania, also UK cancer research, Fight for malaria and recently people who where affected by a bomb blast in Gongo la mboto in Tanzania. We are planning to do more this year.

iMag: What are the best moments in running a Media creative business? What do you hope to achieve? 
UP: We hope to be recognised internationally and make impact in people's lives.

iMag: What are the challenges in running a Media creative business?
UP: Money which is the main, lack of resources, bad publicity, jealousy, lack of support..

iMag: What's a Media Creative's must have;any special characteristics or can anyone do it?
UP: Yeah man, all u need is to have a vision, drive, focus, determination. You don't need a PHD

Sporah: What's next for Urban Pulse,what can we look forward to?any upcoming film and music projects? If any, who are you thinking of working with next, leading from Kanumba and the introduced talents in Lovely Gamble?
UP: I would like to keep it under wraps for now but stay tune for more and exciting programmes from UP.

iMag: Any Advice to anyone who has a dream of starting a Media creative business?
UP: Follow your heart and don't pay attention to mediocre minds or people who don't support your dreams.

iMag: Thank you for spending time with Us; Keep up the good work,please come again and God Bless.
UP: Thanks for having us Sporah and may God Bless you too.

Interview by Lynn Kapinga for iMagazine / The Sporah Show.

Maria Sarungi Tsehai talks pageants and what it takes to be Miss Universe Tanzania

Pageants have always carried controversy and criticizm along with the glitz and glamour. It takes a strong woman to manage the process from preliminary selections to representing the country on the international stage of one of the most prestigious pageant in the world.

Sporah Njau talks to the Director of Compass Communications Ltd and founder of Miss Universe Tanzania. Mentor, sister, friend and role model to many young Tanzanian girls with a dream, Maria Sarungi Tsehai fresh from crowning the Miss Universe Tanzania 2011 winner, opens up about the challenges faced and successes achieved.

Sporah:What 3 words describe you. Explain why they describe you?
MS: Intelligent, Generous, Witty – These words describe me best because I value very much my own and other people’s mind and I am always look at improving my knowledge. I also believe in the philosophy that giving is better than receiving, in this case I am not necessarily talking about money but knowledge.

Sporah: Tell us briefly about Miss Universe Tanzania?
MS: Miss Universe Tanzania started in 2007 when we first got the franchise from Miss Universe Organization in New York. It is the national finals for the Miss Universe pageant.

Sporah: What do you like most about Miss Universe?
MS: I like the fact that Miss Universe is the most prestigious pageant in the world. It also provides opportunities to young girls to showcase their intelligence, beauty and talent and promote their country in a very entertaining way. Even though the winner takes it all, but a good performance can ensure that any other contestant can get a chance to be noticed by modeling agencies, garner media attention and even get a scholarship to the US. It is an important media event as well as over 1 billion people all over the world watch the pageant on television.

Sporah: What qualities must Miss Universe have?
MS: The winner of the Miss Universe crown has to be a young beautiful woman who can carry out the duties that go with the crown which includes socializing with powerful people, opinion makers, a person who is charming and witty, but also the winner is expected to connect with young girls and carry important messages to them whether it is about HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, etc. Also the winner takes part in fashion shows and has to have a good catwalk.

Sporah: What do you find most challenging about your job?
MS: Actually my main job is being a television producer, I do not consider being the National Director of Miss Universe Tanzania as my main occupation. However I give Miss Universe Tanzania all the attention that it needs. The challenge that I face is that in Tanzania we still think of pageants as a parade of promiscuous, dumb girls. We may not say it out loud but that is what we think. And this is not true. The girls today are smarter and more ambitious and beauty pageants are more than a parade. The real work starts after the competition ends. The titleholders are intelligent caring people who give back a lot to the society.

Sporah: Do you honestly think that Tanzania will ever have any control over the achievement of beauty pageants! why?
MS: I think the question in itself is based on the wrong premise. Why do we want to ‘control’ achievements? We have to work for them. And if it is about achievements, Tanzania has made its mark with the likes of Flaviana Matata and Miriam Odemba, but also with girls who may not have placed but garnered media attention like Hellen Dausen, Illuminata James in Miss Universe, Rehema Sudi and Richa Adhia in Miss Earth. I think what we truly lack is the support that other countries get from their governments and national media. This is not only financial support but moral support. I am happy that the media in Tanzania has started providing us with more support and I hope to eventually see the government on board as well. For example, wherever the pageant is held like this year in Brazil, the Tanzanian embassy in the country should provide full support for the titleholder and the pageant, because the titleholder will be our Beauty Ambassador in a very important and large media event. As I said I hope this year the government will be able to see the importance of this.

Sporah: What would you like to see more in beauty pageants in Tanzania? and why?
MS: I would like to see and achieve more preparations for the girls, in this case I am not talking about preparation of the winner but also preparation before they compete in the national pageant. There are many girls who have potential but when they are competing nationally they are not groomed and are not ready to compete internationally. They need at least one year of training and grooming to achieve the level that is needed. This challenge is what I am currently trying to address and overcome. More of my plans will be forthcoming soon.

Sporah: Are you happy for women to be judged on their bodies rather than their minds?
MS: As I pointed out before beauty pageants are no longer about bodies but it is mostly about the mind. It is about having the wits and the personality that is real not rehearsed. The Q & A is not about giving a pageant patty answer but showing your humor and charm. Beauty pageants have undergone serious changes in order to stay relevant.

Sporah: Everyone has a mission in life, What do you think your mission is?
MS: I don’t think I have only one mission in life that would be a very narrow perspective, but overall I believe that whatever I have received from God is for me to use it well and to always, always, give back in whatever form I can. I primarily believe that women in Tanzania need a lot of encouragement and support, and I believe in playing my part by changing the mindset of young girls and making them believe that they can make a difference.

Sporah: Some people are unhappy with Miss Universe TANZANIA 2011? Some people think that Nelly Kamwelu did not deserve the crown for Miss Universe TANZANIA 2011, break it down for me!
MS: I am confident that the panel of judges was very serious about their choice and unbiased, and chose the best girl to win the crown. It is an insult to the intelligence of the judges to say that they would sit and allow results that were not in their favor to be announced. They were shown the results including the tabulation of the scores before the results were announced, because our pageant does that in order to avoid such problems. Each judge is given time to scrutinize the tabulation and make any remarks. However the final count has to be respected by all. This is how our competition goes. But I would like to discuss the word ‘deserve’ Let me remind you that when Flaviana Matata won, I heard back remarks that she was the wrong choice because nobody sends a girl without hair to beauty pageants, some on blogs and in the streets even dared to call her ugly, ‘mshamba’ because she answered her question at the national pageant in Kiswahili and they called her other horrible names (She placed 6th internationally). When we crowned Richa Adhia as Miss Earth Tanzania, there were comments that she would not represent well Tanzania because she was of Indian origin (she was top 16 in swimwear). When we selected Miriam Odemba to represent us at Miss Earth, I heard people say that I made a mistake because Miriam was too old and had too much ‘scandals’in her past (she was 1st runner up). When Hellen Dausen won, some said that she was too short there were even rumors that she is Kenyan (she was featured in Profiles Magazine and was one of the most photographed Africans).

My response is simple – look at the achievements of these beautiful young girls! Why make beautiful young women’s lives miserable with horrible comments and criticism when the people talking are not aware of the judging system and the standards, and have no idea who these girls really are? Personal preference is one thing and professional assessment is another thing.
I do not know what the excuse is this time for the naysayers, but what I say is that money, time and most importantly energy of people have been invested in making this beauty pageant a success for 5 years. We take this very seriously and have no reason to do otherwise. The winner in Tanzania is not judged only to be a local beauty pageant winner but the ultimate goal is for that girl to represent us internationally and do well.

Sporah: What is your definition of beauty?
MS: Beauty is all-encompassing – it is not just about having perfect features, or perfect body measurements, it is about the combination of a beautiful face, body and a beautiful inner self. Now the catch is that inner self. The question often is not who was the most beautiful but who could project her inner self best.

Sporah: What are the top secrets of winning Miss Universe?
MS: I think it’s important to be beautiful, fun, spontaneous, charming and have a killer catwalk. But most importantly it’s believing in yourself even when faced with tough competition and project yourself well on stage!

Sporah: What is one question you would ask me if I was one of your contestant ?
MS: My favorite question during scouting or preliminary judging is: “What are your dreams and ambitions?” I always appreciate an honest answer and not some ‘pageant patty’ answer.... so, what are your dreams and ambitions Sporah?

Sporah: Hahah! Well, I would say my dream is to be the best I can be and to reach my target weight and maintain it! And my ambition is to be the best me that I can be, being happy with everything in life that I pursue and to have many more birthdays.

Sporah: What would you say to someone who thought they were not pretty enough to enter Miss Universe?
MS: I would say “You are your own worst enemy”. Lack of confidence is rampant among our young women and it is truly sad. Nothing stands in their path to achievement except themselves. We had a beautiful contestant this year – Linda who was 155cm tall and she won the Miss Entrepreneurial Mindset award and won a scholarship to study entrepreneurship. Beauty comes in many sizes and shapes and achievements also come in different ways.

Sporah: What do you feel is the most important part of the competition?
MS: The preliminary judging is very, very, important because that is the only time that the judges get to see a side of you that will make a mark and also give insight to your personality. What is needed is honesty and candidness not fake or rehearsed answers.

Sporah: What are your strengths?
MS: My strength is my ability to listen and encourage people to talk about themselves. I also believe that I have been blessed by God to have very good judgment of character and I always trust my instincts.

Sporah: What are your weaknesses?
MS: Some people who are close to me sometimes consider it my weakness – my generosity! People say that I am taken advantage of. But I do not believe it’s true because I have never regretted giving. I love the Swahili saying “Tenda wema uende zako”. I do not expect gratitude but I do expect the person to take advantage of whatever I gave him/her and move on from one point to another.

Sporah: What makes you very angry?
MS: I get very angry about liars and any form of bullying. I really loose my temper at times like this. I value honesty more than anything and I always tell people around me – tell me the bad news I can live with it, but if you lie you loose my trust!

Sporah: What have you learned about yourself today?
MS: I don’t believe that there is only one lesson that we learn about ourselves. We constantly learn about ourselves. Even when we think we learnt something about someone else or something in our surrounding it is really about us.

Sporah: If you had one message to the Tanzanians what would it be?
MS: That is tough Sporah, because I have a lot of messages to Tanzanians, but as we are currently talking about Miss Universe Tanzania I would like to tell Tanzanians: that the time has come when beauty pageants should be taken as seriously as football. Not only is Miss Universe just as serious business but also it is one area that aims to empower women in a unique way and allows young girls to be patriotic and hoist our flag high in one of the most watched event in the world! Your support however small like a kind word of encouragement means a lot to our Beauty Ambassador.

Thank you Maria for your time and I hope to have you someday LIVE on The Sporah